Final Four 2018: Predicting Last 2 Teams for Updated Bracket

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2018

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 24:  Charles Matthews #1 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates after defeating the Florida State Seminoles in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament West Regional Final at Staples Center on March 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. The Michigan Wolverines defeated the Florida State Seminoles 58-54.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Two teams have their sights set on San Antonio for Final Four action. No. 3 Michigan and No. 11 Chicago of Loyola will celebrate winning their regionals before focusing on each other in a competition for a spot in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship.

On the other side of the bracket, No. 1 Villanova is looking to knock off No. 3 Texas Tech to reach its second Final Four in three years. After falling short in the Elite Eight in the past two tournaments, No. 1 Kansas will have a third consecutive shot at reaching the national semifinal.

With six programs remaining in the Big Dance, we will narrow the field down to the two programs that have the best chance at playing for a title. Between the Ramblers and the Wolverines, whose 13-game win streak comes to an end? Will a top seed emerge from the other side of the bracket?


No. 3 Michigan

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 24: Charles Matthews #1, Moritz Wagner #13, Duncan Robinson #22, Zavier Simpson #3 and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman #12 of the Michigan Wolverines huddle against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half in the 2018 NCAA Men'
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Sorry, Sister Jean. Chicago-Loyola put together a terrific tournament run, one all underdogs can admire, but the Missouri Valley Conference champions will face their toughest challenge to date in the Final Four. 

The Ramblers have earned nationwide respect for late-game heroics, but their defense deserves a little more recognition. Chicago-Loyola hasn't allowed 70 points in a contest en route to its second Final Four appearance in program history. Head coach Porter Moser's group locked down No. 9 Kansas State in the previous outing on the way to a 78-62 victory. 

The Wolverines can play that game too.

Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

Michigan's shots didn't fall against No. 9 Florida State like they did in the Sweet 16 Round versus Texas A&M. As a team, the Wolverines shot 39 percent from the field and a miserable 18 percent from three-point land. Still, they managed to scrape together a 58-54 win after a sloppy start and cold stretches throughout the contest.

The Wolverines know how to clamp down on the opposition when struggling to knock down shots. We have yet to see how the Ramblers respond when converting on less than 47 percent of their field-goal attempts.

Chicago-Loyola isn't a stranger to gritty play on the court, but Michigan has more reliable scorers to win a contest in which two teams trade big shots down the stretch.


No. 1 Villanova

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 23:  Omari Spellman #14 of the Villanova Wildcats celebrates with Collin Gillespie #2 during the second half against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at TD Garden on March 23, 201
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Villanova should have success attacking Texas Tech's defense with multiple perimeter scorers, coupled with freshman forward Omari Spellman's ability to make plays inside and outside the paint. No disrespect to the Red Raiders' Sweet 16 victory against Purdue, but the Wildcats will have a healthy team ready to pounce from the opening whistle.

Kansas and Duke would pose unique threats to Villanova in the Final Four.

The Jayhawks match up in the scoring department with elite guard play and an inside presence through center Udoka Azubuike

The Blue Devils would likely take a physical approach in an attempt to wear down the Wildcats with Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter Jr. and an increased workload for Marques Bolden off the bench.

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 23:  Phil Booth #5 of the Villanova Wildcats celebrates with teammates after defeating the West Virginia Mountaineers 90-78 in the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at TD Garden on March 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachuset
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Either way, it's a must-see matchup. Villanova's deep rotation should outlast the opposition in the Final Four.

As expected, the Big East champions have put their scoring prowess on display throughout the Big Dance, averaging 86 points per contest. In two of their wins, the Wildcats shot 50 percent or better from the field.

At times, Duke lags in scoring consistency. Kansas' shooting efficiency has kept its games closer than anticipated. Those shortcomings will open Villanova's pathway to the title game.


Click here for B/R's Printable Bracket.